Of mice and men: Mice and I don’t get along

Years ago I wrote a column in the form of a “Twas the Night Before Christmas” mode, after a mouse scampered up on the bed and chewed a hole in the stocking, enjoying a nice chocolate snack while we slept. He eventually paid for that little transgression.

Fast forward to now. I’ve got to believe the rascal I’ve been tangling with the past couple of weeks is a long distant relative. He’s keeping alive the family tradition of making my life miserable.

Debbie first encountered the scoundrel, or at least signs that he was around (if you know what I mean). Little droppings were appearing in our garage in places we’d just as soon they not be.

So I loaded up a spare mouse trap with a large helping of peanut butter, expecting to find the next morning another member of that mouse family gone to wherever they go after life ends on this planet. Instead I found an empty, unsnapped trap, licked clean of all that peanut butter.

Patience being the better part of valor, I reloaded and waited for a dead furry surprise the next day. Same results.

I decided the fault must be in the trap. I had used it before and perhaps they’re only good for one mouse then must be replaced. Debbie thinks I should do that anyway, because she doesn’t like seeing little mouse blood spots on the traps and thinks it’s unhealthy or something.

So I found another trap and set it up, making sure that little metal trip lever was as close to snapping as possible at the slightest touch. The problem was, during that process I managed to snap my own fingers and thumb two or three times in the process.

Somehow, that little guy kept outplaying me and that’s more than just a little bit embarrassing. All I had to show for my efforts was bandages on each throbbing finger and an ever growing pile of mouse droppings as he fattened up on a healthy peanut butter and cheese diet. He went so far as to lick all the peanut butter off a piece of moldy cheese not even up to his standards.

Not sure whether he has some ninja powers or he’s some sort of mouse Navy Seal, but I vowed he wasn’t going to beat me. And I still wanted some of that peanut butter for my own sandwiches.

After another few days with the same results, coming back into the house using language that even had our dog curling its ears and hiding in a corner, I changed my routine again.

I cursed the makers of those mouse traps, threw everyone I had into the garbage, and brought out the weapon of mass destruction, the dirty bomb, the type of weapon banned by the United Nations. I brought out the poison.

Mission accomplished, at least I think. After taking a few nibbles from the stick of mouse dynamite, I’ve seen no more of him. So unless the poison had lost its potency after sitting aside for a couple of years, I’ve rid our house of one more vermin.

What’s bad about the whole thing is I kind of feel sad. I would have preferred he just take a bite, snap, and be dead. I didn’t really want him to suffer, despite the damage done to my fingers with which I make a living. After all, he was only trying to make a life for himself.

When someone invades your home, you do what it takes to defend it. If only we could have sat down and talked about it and come to an understanding. Such is the reality of war.

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